New York man charged with injuring two in Centre County DUI crash

Local News

CENTRE COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — Two people were seriously injured in a Centre County crash Sunday where state police say the driver was high on marijuana.

Steven Valdez-Villalta, 24, of Southampton, New York, appeared drowsy and failed field sobriety tests after he drove across E. College Avenue from Cemetery Lane in Walker Township and into the path of another vehicle at just before 10 p.m., according to state police.

The driver of the second vehicle suffered serious injuries, as did a passenger riding in the back seat of Valdez-Villalta’s vehicle.

A small amount of marijuana was located in a camouflage bag found outside Valdez-Villalta’s vehicle. He reportedly told state police he had smoked the previous night before going to bed. A state police corporal who is a certified drug recognition expert suspected Valdez-Villalta of being under the influence of depressants and cannabis and that he was impaired.

Valdez-Villalta was arraigned Monday morning on charges of felony aggravated assault by vehicle while DUI and misdemeanor counts of DUI, possession of a small amount of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Bail was set at $25,000 cash and Valdez-Villalta remains in Centre County Correctional Facility with a preliminary hearing scheduled for July 21. 

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